EAST NEWARK – Gov. Chris Christie called it “enormously gratifying” to be endorsed Thursday by a Democratic mayor in an area where the governor’s first campaign received less than 25 percent of the vote.
The governor met with Harrison officials in East Newark’s Top Diner to formally receive the endorse of Harrison Mayor Ray McDonough, who said he’s attended about 20 of Christie’s town halls and has come to respect the Republican governor.
“He speaks the truth,” said McDonough, who served as mayor for nearly two decades.
“We have to work together” he said. “… I just hope other mayors step up to the plate and do the right thing.”
Christie graciously accepted the mayor’s endorsement
“I appreciate their political courage,” said Christie, referring to McDonough and other Harrison officials who came out to endorse the governor’s bid for re-election.
“Harrison has always had leaders willing to pick the person, not the party,” Christie said. “It’s enormously gratifying.”
Democratic Town Council members Laurence M. Bennett, Jesus R. Huaranga, James Doran, Victor Villalta, Carol Mandaglio, Michael Dolaghan, Francisco Nascimento, and Anselmo Millan were scheduled to join in the endorsement at the diner.
"My first commitment is to the residents and taxpayers of Harrison. No Governor has worked harder to help me keep that commitment to my neighbors than Chris Christie," said McDonough, first elected in 1994 and serving his fifth term as mayor.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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